Send to

Choose Destination
Parasitology. 2007 Dec;134(Pt.14):1911-29. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Proteins of the malaria parasite sexual stages: expression, function and potential for transmission blocking strategies.

Author information

University of Würzburg, Research Center for Infectious Diseases, Röntgenring 11, 97070 Würzburg, Germany.


The sexual phase of the malaria pathogen, Plasmodium falciparum, culminates in fertilization within the midgut of the mosquito and represents a crucial step in the completion of the parasite's life-cycle and transmission of the disease. Two decades ago, the first sexual stage-specific surface proteins were identified, among them Pfs230, Pfs48/45, and Pfs25, which were of scientific interest as candidates for the development of transmission blocking vaccines. A decade later, gene information gained from the sequencing of the P. falciparum genome led to the identification of numerous additional sexual-stage proteins with antigenic properties and novel enzymes that putatively possess regulatory functions during sexual-stage development. This review aims to summarize the sexual-stage proteins identified to date, to compare their stage specificities and expression patterns and to highlight novel regulative mechanisms of sexual differentiation. The prospective candidacy of select sexual-stage proteins as targets for transmission blocking strategies will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center